The role of moisture absorptive capacity of pre-silage material and its relationship with silage effluent in high moisture by-product feedstuffs (HMBF) is assessed. The term water retention capacity which is sometimes used in explaining the rate of effluent control in ensilage may be inadequate, since it accounts exclusively for the capacity of an absorbent incorporated into a pre-silage material prior to ensiling, without consideration to how much the pre-silage material can release. A new terminology, ‘potential water retention capacity’ (PWRC), which attempts to address this shortcoming, is proposed. Data were pooled from a series of experiments conducted separately over a period of five years using laboratory silos with four categories of agro by-products (n = 27) with differing moisture contents (highest 96.9%, lowest 78.1% in fresh matter, respectively), and their silages (n = 81). These were from a vegetable source (Daikon, Raphanus sativus), a root tuber source (potato pulp), a fruit source (apple pomace) and a cereal source (brewer’s grain), respectively. The pre-silage materials were adjusted with dry in-silo absorbents consisting wheat straw, wheat or rice bran, beet pulp and bean stalks. The pooled mean for the moisture contents of all pre-silage materials was 78.3% (±10.3). Silage effluent decreased (p<0.01), with increase in PWRC of pre-silage material. The theoretical moisture content and PWRC of pre-silage material necessary to stem effluent flow completely in HMBF silage was 69.1% and 82.9 g/100 g in fresh matter, respectively. The high correlation (r = 0.76) between PWRC of ensiled material and silage effluent indicated that the latter is an important factor in silage-effluent relationship.
Issn1011-2367 (Print) 1976-5517 (Electronic)
JournaltitleAsian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences